When you think of the Middle East for travel, few countries come to mind such as Jordan, United Emirates, and Oman. What if we tell you there is another country that is not as commonly traveled nestled into a peninsula of the Arabian gulf. Qatar. Now many has come to know about Qatar from the FIFA world cup but here is the culture and vibrant life of Qatar that we have witness outside of the games.
Hidden in the gulf, this place radiated a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The country that has blended the charm of its history while enriching the country with the technology and wonders of the future. The journey begins in Doha, where modern skyscrapers rise into the sky and traditional souks bring to life the energy of a different era. As a traveler, it is magnificent to experience just a couple transit stops using the new rapid transportation systems can take one into the future or back in time. Marveled at the rich heritage of the parks and national museums, travelers will experience a city like no other, one where desert adventure awaits, calligraphy/ceramics in awe and waterfront lifestyle that surprises the luxurious minds.
On the outside of the city boundaries, the desert landscapes, so vast!, that days can be spent travelling through them to get to Saudi Arabia. The dunes of Khor Al Adaid, known as the inland sea is filled with endless dune bashing in an insanely modified SUV. Travelers get to enjoy the limited time in a so surreal that brings a wide smile and as the sun sets over the horizon, back to a tent the enjoy a warm cup of coffee, Kashmiri or Karak tea, taking in a sky painted in hues of orange and blues so vibrant that leaves one in awe.
The beauty of Qatar is not limited to its deserts. The town of Al Wakra, a coastal charm south of Doha, welcomes life of all walks with the scent of the sea. One must enjoy an evening at the souq where food options are plentiful, and the people are welcoming. Time spent creates a memory captured to last a lifetime. Seeking a taste of luxury? Believe that Qatar has every desire covered. The Pearl-Qatar is a beacon that shines bright through out the days and night. The man-made island with enriched marinas, gaze upon the great yachts docked, designer shops and outright lavish dinning will satiate the needs. Visitors strolling the boardwalks will quickly realize there is not much to worry about while the breeze of the seas bring calm to the evenings.
In the midst of the new and old, discover the Katara Cultural Village, place where theater and galleries showcase cultural aspects, global innovations and out of this amusement at the planetarium. Right across the village is the beach that all are welcome to enjoy on a beautiful sunny day. Enjoy the refreshments while relaxing at one of the rented luxury cabanas. As the days come to an end, turn to the Lusail Boulevard, the bustling downtown of the city. With a variety of dining options, shopping, and entertainment, plenty of amenities for all, shopaholic and foodies.
The magic of Qatar deepens at the grand Souq Waqif. Walking through Souq Waqif, illuminated streets filled with locals and travelers conversation and laughing at the end of a long day shows a warmth that is unmatched. There are tales that are told forever in a place like this and to witness and be a part of it… just unreal. The past mixed with the present.
And with that, Qatar, travelers leave with memories found in the calm desert, overbearing skyscrapers, vibrant markets and incredible culture. It’s a destination that leaves you with a heart felt experience, breaking the barriers of what is considered an conservative country. Offering much innovation, and wonders for every traveler to unfold. As a roamer, you might not understand until you’re there. So what are you waiting for? Next up Qatar!